Muni gets funds to speed purchase of new buses

San Francisco’s transit agency is getting a boost in funds to help accelerate buying more Muni vehicles to be put into service by the summer of 2017.

The San Francisco County Transportation Authority commissioners, made up of members of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, approved $48 million in funds to the Municipal Transportation Agency at their Tuesday meeting.

The funds will help purchase 85 40-foot low-floor hybrid diesel buses and 63 60-foot low-floor hybrid diesel buses, authority documents said.

Currently, the manufacturer has delivered 40 articulated hybrid buses, the transportation authority said.

Authority staff said the manufacturer has open capacity to allow the continuance of making more Muni buses.

Last December, SFBay reported that the SFMTA Board of Directors approved speeding up its order of buses with New Flyer of America Inc. between 2016 through 2019. The total cost of the contract with New Flyer is now at $412 million.

The new contract included purchasing an additional 152 40-foot hybrid buses and 113 60-foot buses, according to the SFMTA.

John Haley, SFMTA’s director of transit, said at the December SFMTA meeting that the accelerated purchase of the buses would help with service demands needs and improve the transit agency’s on-time performance.

Also at the time, the transit agency was still seeking $121 million funding gap, which Haley said the transit agency was working on with its funding partners.

At the authority’s Plans and Programs Committee on Feb. 9 meeting, Supervisor John Avalos requested an update on where the transit agency is at in the bus procurement process.